Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maybe my last Nortel Canada pension check?

My Nortel Canada pension check stub arrived in the mail yesterday as per normal. I checked my bank account and the deposit had been made as usual and the good news is that the Canadian exchange rate makes the Loonie almost equal to the US dollar.

The bad news is that I still don't know if this will be my last pension check from Nortel Canada. The judge still hasn't made any decision on the Canadian Settlement agreement which, if approved, would extend pension benefits payments by Nortel until September 2010.

If the judge rules against the agreement, then I think Nortel will be winding up the pension plan immediately and none of us know for certain what that means to our pensions. At best it will continue on being paid out of the trust fund by an administrator, but reduced by a percentage that could by 30% or worse. Eventually the pension will be further reduced as it is annuitized and we could see another big reduction as a result.

It's amazing that no one is letting us know what is going on. I check the NRPC, Koskie Minsky, Ernst & Young, Epiq, and Nortel websites looking for a glimmer of information and there is only silence. It's almost like everyone went on vacation and forgot about the agreement, and the fact that thousands of people are waiting to find out the impact on them.

Especially the people on LTD. We retirees have it made compared to them. Many of them are in their 40s and completely unable to work, and also unable to draw their pension from the trust fund. They will end up with little or no income as a result of Nortel's bungling of the health and Welfare trust fund, and the apathy of the Canadian government. In fact the settlement was devised with poison pill contents so that the LTD employees would not have any rights to sue Nortel over it's bungling and bumbling on the HWT fund.

This episode is one of shame for Nortel, for the lawyers who delighted in screwing the weak and disabled with this settlement, and for the government of Canada. How can we make the Canadian public realize the terrible, shabby treatment that the LTD people and the pensioners are receiving? I know the Canadian people are better than this, so why are they indifferent and unmoved by our predicament?

Where's the outrage?

1 comment:

  1. With Nortel LTD employees about to cease to have any income and our governments having no solution to help these persons I humbly suggest that Nortel pensioners, about to lose about a third of their pension each contribute $10 now to a fund to help in any way possible these LTD persons who will likely find themselves staving in the streets.
    They cannot collect EI - they are unemployable. They are too young for OAS and CPP.
    The worst part is their families will be hurt. Children attending University or senior High School will be forced drop out.
    Canadians are known for their generosity.
    How did we elect such a mean spirted bunch of MP's?